NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Tax administrators and law enforcement agencies
drawn from sub-Saharan African countries on Monday vowed to
support the war against financial crimes that are undermining
the continent’s economic progress.
The custom officials
and forensic experts who met in Nairobi for training said that
capacity development, advanced technology and robust
multi-agency coordination is key to win the war against illicit
“As a continent, we
require an adequate skills set, better understanding of law and
modern forensic tools to help unearth and prosecute criminals
involved in illicit financial flows,” said David Yego,
commissioner in charge of investigations and enforcement
department at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
training drew 48 participants from 18 African countries and
seeks to equip them with skills to conduct investigations
leading to arrest and prosecution of cartels linked to financial
scams like money laundering, tax evasion and bribery.
Yego said Kenya is
committed to halt illicit financial flows that have escalated
against a backdrop of weak policing, incoherent legal framework
and under-investment in forensic technology.
“We are dealing with
a host of financial crimes like any other rising economy and
have gradually stepped up the momentum to minimize their
negative impacts in our society,” Yego remarked.
Africa loses an
estimated 50 billion U.S. dollars annually due to illicit
financial flows that have worsened poverty, insecurity and
social upheavals on the continent.
Juergen Leske, a
program manager at OECD, said the battle against financial
crimes in Africa should be accelerated in order to improve the
investment climate and living standards of ordinary citizens.
“Highly trained and
equipped customs, forensic and judicial officers will help curb
illicit financial flows that have denied African countries funds
required to develop infrastructure and provide essential
services like health and education,” Leske said.